Inside: Chatham

Inside: Discover Extraordinary Living

Situated at the convergence of the Taconics, the Berkshires, and the Catskills, Chatham offers a delightful slice of small-town life just two hours from Manhattan. Settled in the 1700s and having formerly served as an industrial center for interstate rail lines, Chatham today has a large focus on land conservation, with several wildlife areas open to the public for outdoor recreation. The town also boasts rambling horse farms and rolling countryside as well as a bustling and attractive Main Street area with acclaimed shops and restaurants. Chatham’s historic roots are apparent in its well-preserved architecture, which includes charming Colonial homes and historic buildings on tree-lined streets.

Here are some of the best things to eat, buy, see, and do in Chatham:

Parks & Recreation

Borden’s Pond Public Conservation Area
1628 Route 203, Ghent

Walk from the village to this nature haven for lush greenery, hiking trails, wildlife viewing, and serene ponds. Set on 62 acres, with 1.75 miles of wooded trails (easy to moderate), Borden’s Pond offers wetland views, a variety of wildlife, mixed forests, sloping stream-side trails, and Catskill Mountain views (best seen during winter). Popular trails include the lower trail, which leads visitors along a small stream, and two trails that travel along ridgelines to an upland forest.

Dining

The People’s Pub
36 Main St, Chatham

As its name indicates, this pub is a popular gathering spot that exudes a warm, communal spirit and serves as a community hub. With a rural, yet sophisticated feel, diners are treated to a something-for-everyone menu of inspired pub fare including burgers, short ribs, pad thai, and seared ahi tuna. At the bar, expect craft beers, artisan cocktails, and a domestic and global wines and spirits program. Adding to the fun are weekly events like $2 oysters on Thursdays and a half-price “Taps & Apps” night, where you get a discounted price when you purchase from another small business located on Main Street.

Photography Credit: Christian Harder

Bimi’s Canteen and Bar
19 Main St, Chatham

For a global-fusion experience of eclectic flavors, Bimi’s Canteen and Bar does not disappoint. Adventurous palates enjoy the changing seasonal menu of fresh locally sourced ingredients served up by the owners of the longtime local staple, Bimi’s Cheese Shop.  Globally inspired dishes are complemented by a slate of cheeses from their shop as well as standards like mac n cheese, burgers, and bouillabaisse. A charming brick exterior with striped awnings gives way to a cozy interior dining room and bar area as well as an elegant downstairs speakeasy and seasonal outdoor seating.

Historic

“Crandell Theatre” by Michael Styne is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Crandell Theatre
48 Main St, Chatham

Step back in time at the Crandell Theatre, which has served as the town’s cultural anchor since its opening in 1926. The theater’s motto of “small town, big movies” is apt; the Crandell is the go-to spot for both mainstream and independent films, attracting some 35,000 attendees each year. Operating as the oldest and largest single-screen movie theater in Columbia County and located on the State and National Register of Historic Places, the theater is also the home of FilmColumbia, a nationally recognized annual film festival that has shown more than 600 movies from around the world.

Shopping

The Chatham Berry Farm
Route 203, Chatham

This family-owned farm and market offer berries galore — strawberries, blueberries, gooseberries, currants (black, red, and white), raspberries (black, red, and yellow), and blackberries — plus plenty more, too: fresh produce and artisanal goods in its year-round specialty farm as well as an award-winning garden center and its Greenhouse Cidery taproom. For more than 40 years, this farm, nestled on 22 acres, has served as a vibrant community spot for anyone looking for fresh, local, organic goods.

The Chatham Real Food Market Co-op
15 Church St, Chatham

Residents who purchase a $100 share can become members of the Chatham Co-op, but the community-centric store is open to anyone. Expect a variety of locally sourced products, from organic produce and groceries to health and wellness items, craft beer and cider, handmade crafts, a café with fresh food daily, and even wellness offerings including yoga classes. Proceeds from the market go right back into the co-op’s fund and help support local farmers, crafters, and community members.

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